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February 17, 2013

Date Night!

Tonight I made a fun date night jar craft. I will explain, of course. This past Saturday night, Jesse and I were able to go out on a date night! We don't get to go out alone very often, since our cutie cute was born. But thanks to my sister and the gift card she gave us for Christmas and a good friend who watched the cuteness, we were able to go out. We went to the Tampa Museum of Art and then had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. It was so nice! But now we need to start planning our next date night, which will be in March, since we are able to go out about once a month.

So I made us cute and crafty date night jars! I can't take credit for the idea of date night jars, but I CAN and WILL take credit for turning it into a Sunday night craft! haha! You and your spouse each get a jar and an equal number of slips of paper. You each write down dates you'd like to go on, anything you want to do, and then put them in your respective jars. When you're planning a date night, you take turns picking date slips from the jars. BUT the wife picks from the husband's jar and vice versa.

For example, for our jars we will each have three slips of paper, which will equal six dates all together. These will last us for six months since we only go out once a month, but if you go out more, use more slips of paper. When we begin planning our next date, I will pick from Jesse's jar and we will do one of the dates he has chosen. Keep in mind that if you have enough slips to last you several months, the dates will have to be things that can be done anytime in that timeframe. Don't write that you want to go to a football game if it's not going to be football season in the next six months.

Ok here we go. To make pretty ones like I did you will need:
  • 2 containers of some sort
  • ribbon
  • hot glue gun and glue stick
  • slips of paper
  • a spouse :) (or you could do family versions and let the kids make their own)
We went to the thrift store today and I got two pretty little jars with lids for ours.

I also got this pretty little jar and the book below:

Such a cute little jar!

It's "Little Women" on one side and "Little Men" on the other!
My Goodwill haul

 I'd like to make a fun project with the book sometime. Maybe a book purse or an altered book project of some kind. But I'm getting distracted...

First I glued one some pretty lace I had laying around. I like the way it forms to the jar and looks oh so pretty.

No, I don't have sparkly hot glue sticks, that's just a pencil sticking where there should be a fresh glue stick... because I ran out and needed something to make the glue that is in there squeeze out. Don't judge.

Next, I tied some purple ribbon in a pretty little bow around the top of the jar. I twisted the ribbon first so it would fit nicely in the groove. If you're just making a pretty decorated jar, you're done!

I think dark purple looks so nice with a golden yellow.

Then I cut six, 2 inch strips of heart-y love paper and we each secretly wrote our secret date plans!

 And here they are all finished and pretty.

You can see how pretty the lace looks. I'm quite proud of them. 

So I'm excited to plan our next date night so we have something to look forward to! Doing date night this way helps us to do what the other person wants to do as well as see what kind of creative things we can come up with. Usually we just agree on something and it's mostly the same kind of things. This helps us to go a little bit outside of the box... and inside the jar. haha! Anyone want to babysit??

February 16, 2013

Thirty-One Orange Juice

I have mentioned that I am a Thirty-One Independent Consultant. It's fun and I like the extra money; we paid for Christmas with my commission this past fall. And I do so love the products! They are super functional and versatile as well. Well today starts a Thirty-One incentive for new consultants so I wanted to share it with my plethora of readers (haha!).

Anyone who signs up between now and April 1st can earn a $99 rebate, which is the cost of your enrollment kit! In order to earn the rebate, you will have to have $1000 in sales in your first 30 days. It's not as hard as it sounds. That can happen in one party, or as many as 5 parties, but it's definitely doable!

Besides getting back the money you paid for your enrollment kit, you will of course still make your commission, which on $1000 in sales is $250! And all new consultants can earn their Start Swell rewards, which are goals set to help you succeed and get off to a good start. If you sell $1000 in the first 30 days, you will automatically earn your first Start Swell, which includes free product and business supplies to help you get started.

But wait, there's more! Haha! There is another incentive for all consultants going on right now. Thirty-One National Conference is at the end of July and consultants can earn the cost of registration, plus a special Conference kit and more. Even if you are just starting out and don't know if you can make it to the conference this year, you can still earn the conference kit for free. This incentive is done by a point system and there are extra points that only new consultants can earn.

Anyhow, the point is, now is a really good time to join Thirty-One. You are not only earning commission which is extra money in your pocket, but you are also working towards 3 different incentives that give you nothing to lose! Let me know if you or someone you know is interested in more information.

In the future I do plan to post info here and there about my Thirty-One business. Hopefully it's helpful to those who do read. But I will continue to mostly post crafty things and awesome food and all the adventures of Crazy Rachel.

Have a great long weekend!

February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Treat

Last week I attempted to make Valentine's Rice Krispies Treats... and it was a major fail. I think the marshmallows I used were too old. They weren't expired, but just not fresh enough I think. So, as promised, I tried again today with new marshmallows and they turned out fabulously.

Honestly I had never made Rice Krispies Treats until a few weeks ago. But they are super easy. Just use the recipe from the Rice Krispies website: Valentine Cut-Out Treats Recipe. I had some leftover cupcake frosting cans from my daughter's birthday cupcakes. (I'll probably post about her birthday soon because it was awesome!) They were super fun to make, and I took some to my little friend when I dropped her off at her gymnastics class today.

Of course I had to make black ones!

I think this one is the prettiest... and I want to eat it right now!

And then there's this handsome mustache heart man

I used some of the mini hearts to make little sandwiches. So tasty!
A few tips:
  • Butter! Butter the pan or cookies sheet that you put the Rice Krispies mixture on, butter your hands so they don't get sticky while you press it all down, and butter your cookie cutters. 
  • After you use your cookie cutters to cut out all the shapes you can, squish the leftovers together, much like you would if you were making sugar cookies. As tempting as it was to just eat it, I was actually able to get a bunch more hearts out of it after I squished it all together.
  • Make sure to eat them within a day or so because they lose their "krispie" pretty quickly.
If you're looking for a last minute Valentine's Day gift, check out the pretty jewelry and candles in my Etsy Shop, Rachel's Craft Trove. Happy Valentine's Day! (in two days)

February 5, 2013

A Sweet Fail

I was going to post a fun Valentine's Day treat but that failed miserably. Probably next week I will try again. But I was so mad that it didn't work out so I made cookies instead. So I will share the recipe because they are the best cookies ever. I got them from, which appears to be broken right now. So if I post the recipe then I can come back and get it later, and so you can you.

The picture is dark because I didn't take the time to take a good picture because I wanted to eat this cookie immediately.

1 cup butter*
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cups quick oats

Cream Filling:*
2 tsp very hot water
¼ tsp salt
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
½ cup shortening
⅓ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. With a mixer*, cream the butter, sugars, molasses, vanilla, and eggs.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir to combine; mix in the oats.
5. Drop tablespoon* sized scoops onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12* minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges. Be careful not to over-bake them; they will look moist.
6. While the cookies are baking, in a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water and allow to cool to room temperature.
7. Combine the marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla and mix on high until fluffy.
8. Add the salt water and mix well.
9. Spread the filling onto the flat side of one cookie and top with another.

*My Notes*
The original recipe calls for unsalted butter but I didn't find it made much of a difference. I also like to double the cream filling recipe, but really I could probably just 1 1/2 it. It definitely isn't enough cream filling though. Original recipe also says to use your stand mixer, but if you can't shell out $200+ for a Kitchen Aid (like me) a hand mixer will work just fine. And my last note: tablespoon sized scoops of cookie dough are way too big. I used a teaspoon and sometimes those are still too big. The cookies will flatten out and spread. And definitely check the cookies at around 5 minutes, they burn very quickly.

Hopefully it doesn't take you three tries to get them right like it did me. :) But they are so good. And in case you can't find kidsinthesink anymore like I can't, then you can find it here. 

February 4, 2013

Productive Day

Today has been pretty productive! My husband took a few days of vacation this week so we are trying to get some things done. We cleaned the office! It had become a dumping ground, but now it's back to being where we pay bills, where I work on my Thirty-One business, and where the dog sleeps. Well it was always where the dog sleeps, but lately he had been trying to get out almost every night. Maybe it was just too much for him. Sorry buddy, it's clean now.

I also got a little crafty today. I made the earrings to match the set I was commissioned to make, which you can see here. Here they are:

If you want some pretty jewelry handmade by me, go visit my Etsy shop, That's it. I'm going to go back to enjoying my day! Stay tuned for a fun Valentine's Day treat idea!

February 3, 2013

Tutorial - How to Make a Gift Bag Out of a Catalog or Magazine

Hi again! Today I want to show you how to make a gift bag out of a catalog or a magazine. I drew the basic idea from this tutorial here about making gift bags out of newspaper. There are tons of tutorials on the interwebs for the newspaper kind. Today I'm going to make them out of Thirty-One catalogs.

As I mentioned in my profile, I am an Independent Consultant with Thirty-One Gifts and we have catalogs for each season. I always want to find new ways to use my old catalogs because it would be such a shame to waste them. One idea is to drop them off at the doctor's or dentist's office waiting rooms so that they are still working for you even after they are expired. I have done that before, but I thought this was a neat idea too. You can use them for a small hostess gift and card to give to your hostesses at your parties. You could also use them for giveaways. OR you could just use them anytime you need a small gift bag for any purpose and then you have a gift bag that advertises your business for you on the side!

Ok here we go. Materials you will need:

  • Thirty-One catalog (you can also use a regular magazine)
  • Staple remover
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon of some sort
The first thing you'll need to do is remove the staples from the middle of the catalog so that you can separate the pages.  

Separate out the page you want to use and place the side that you would like to show on the outside of the bag face down.
I want the page that says "Accessory Bags" at the top to be on the outside of the bag so I am placing it face down on the table. 
Next you'll need to make your folds. For a Thirty-One catalog, measure from left to right, 3", then 5", 3", 5" and the last fold on the right will be whatever is leftover.

From left to right, the folds are made at 3", 5", 3", 5" and then the last fold is whatever is left, about 3/4".
If you are using a traditional sized magazine, the measurements will be a little bit smaller. As long as the two smaller folds and two larger folds are the same size it will work.

Next you'll need to fold the bottom and top. The top fold is about 3/4" and the bottom is about 2.5".

I drew black lines on the folds so you can see it a little bit better, hopefully.
Next, use your glue stick and apply glue to the smallest flap, the fold you made at the far right. Now is a good time to put glue on the top fold too. You're gluing it on the side of the paper that is facing you. After that you are going to form the bag using the folds you've made, and the right flap will overlap to form a tube.
See, it makes a tube.
See how the flap overlaps? And you've put glue on it so you just need to pinch it to make it stick and you'll have the body of your gift bag.
Next you will fold down the top flap into the bag. You may have already put glue on it in the last step, but if not you can put it on now. I just think it's easier to put glue on while the paper is still flat. This will be the top of the bag and helps it to be reinforced.
Top flap folded down into the bag
Next you will fold the bottom of the bag, kind of like you're wrapping a present.

Then put some glue on the insides of the new triangular flaps you have made so that they will stick to each other and to the bottom of the bag.
There's the bottom of your bag
Now your bag has a bottom. Mine isn't perfect, it will still work. You can also cut some cardboard to put inside the bag at the bottom to give it a more sturdy bottom. Here is what you end up with:

You can also poke your fingers in at the sides a little ways up from the bottom of the bag and crease it so that it can be folded flat and looks more like a gift bag you would buy in the store.

The last thing you will do is punch two holes on each side at the top of the bag and string some ribbon or hemp or whatever through. If you use thick ribbon you could tie knots at each end to secure the handles. I used skinny ribbon so I threaded it through the holes and then tied the ends together instead. And here is the finished product:

This was easy and quick and I will definitely be making more! Leave a comment if you have a question. Have fun!

*UPDATE* 9/5/13
I am just amazed at how many views this post has gotten and I so appreciate everyone taking the time to check out my tutorial. I'm glad so many people can use this information, and I love all the comments on how people have made it their own! I'd love to invite you to my Facebook fan page where I post info about my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop, as well as other fun info like this, giveaways and more! You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest! Thanks again!

February 2, 2013


Hi, I'm Rachel. We all knew this was inevitable. So here I am, to post fun things about crafts, food, good ideas... whatever crazy stuff I've got going on. And I hope anyone who stumbles upon me here will enjoy it!

So I have an Etsy shop, Rachel's Craft Trove and you can come visit anytime you like! I'll show you what I've been working on.

Stringing beads. My nails look like they have star tattoos. Really I just couldn't get all the Sally Hansen nail sticker things off and the stars were left behind.
I was commissioned to make a necklace, bracelet and earrings set for a mother of the groom. This is the bracelet.
 You can check out all my pretty necklaces and other handmade items on my Etsy shop anytime you want by using my link over here somewhere

That's it for now. I think soon I will post a cool tutorial that I just tried out. Have a happy Saturday night!